May 22, 2024


Science It Works

Powerball celebrates 30th anniversary, game has raised $1.1B for NC education

Powerball ticket sales began 30 years ago today −April 19th, 1992 – with jackpots starting at $2 million.
Powerball celebrates 30th anniversary, raises $1.1 billion for NC Education. (Photo: Multi-State Lottery Association)

RALEIGH, NC (WWAY) – The Powerball game celebrates its 30th anniversary this week as North Carolinians get the chance to play for a life-changing jackpot that now stands at $370 million.

Powerball ticket sales began 30 years ago today −April 19th, 1992 – with jackpots starting at $2 million.

Now the Powerball jackpot starts at $20 million. Players are buying tickets this week to try and win a $370 million jackpot on Wednesday night.

North Carolina joined the Powerball game on May 30, 2006, just two months after the start of the N.C. Education Lottery.

Since then, the game has produced $2.76 billion in ticket sales in North Carolina alone. From those sales, the game has raised more than $1.1 billion for education programs in the state.

“Happy birthday to Powerball,” said Mark Michalko, executive director of the N.C. Education Lottery. “No game has produced bigger dreams in North Carolina than the Powerball game. We’ve seen players win jackpots as high as $344 million and the biggest win of all comes with the $1 billion raised for education.”

In the 16 years that Powerball has been played in North Carolina, the game has produced:

  • Five jackpot wins with the largest, $344 million, occurring in June 2019
  • 24 wins of $2 million
  • 99 wins of $1 million

If someone wins Wednesday’s jackpot, they would have a choice of taking it as a $370 annuity paid out annually for 29 years or as $222.8 million in cash.

Powerball drawings are held every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday and the odds of winning a jackpot are 1 in 292 million.

Tickets cost $2 and are sold in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

North Carolinians can buy Powerball tickets at any lottery retail location in the state.

Tickets can also be purchased through Online Play at and with the NC Lottery Official Mobile App.

Ticket sales from draw games such as Powerball help make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $900 million a year for education.